Apple | Netflix

Shock Report: Is Apple About to Buy Netflix?

A new report out of Bloomberg sets the stage for a move by Apple to acquire Netflix. Its a reality that’s shaping up to make more sense than not.

Netflix Subscriber Growth – Source: Statista

As we reported a few days ago, the functionality once only available with devices like Apple TV and Roku are rapidly being embedded into smart TV sets like Amazon Fire TV Edition and TCL Roku TVs.  In recent days, Samsung announced they will build Sling TV into a line of their TVs.

In a world where streaming apps are increasingly being built right into the TV, making it easy to simply login and start watching without worrying about fiddling with inputs, hardware and the like, content producers like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and HBO are well positioned to promote and monetize their content with near universal access.

It’s no longer enough to have a device that you can use to position & promote your brand assets and content.

Its no secret that Apple is desperately trying to create an original content channel of their own. However, it will take billions to get it off the ground and there is no guarantee that it will fly.

But Netflix is already wildly successful. A combined Apple + Netflix would be a game changer that would send shockwaves throughout the media landscape.

Bloomberg speculates that for around $100 billion, Apple could buy Netflix outright.

The acquisition would immediately make Apple the world’s leading internet television network with over 90 million monthly paying subscribers in 190 countries.

Apple has been relatively quiet in this space of late. The Apple TV continues to lose market share to more affordable alternatives from Roku and Amazon. The TV App languishes in unfulfilled potential. Does this sound like Apple? It would appear that something big is about to happen.

Once Netflix is under the Apple umbrella, one can be sure that Apple TV sales would be bolstered by the appeal of a prepaid Netflix subscription – finally justifying the high cost relative to other streamers.

What’s more, the Netflix catalogue would then be seamlessly integrated into the Apple TVs “TV App” and Home screen, injecting instant life into a promising, but as of yet, half-baked idea. The Apple TV (or a line of Apple branded Smart TVs) would be the most optimized experience for Netflix just like the Fire TV works best with Amazon Prime.

To really take things to the next level, integrate an over-the-air (OTA) ATSC 3.0 TV tuner into the next generation Apple TV and all of a sudden you have what Tim Cook can rightfully call “The Future of ‘Tulla’-vision”.

A merger of Netflix into Apple provides each company with a solution to challenges both face. Apple has learned that film and television are very different industries than music. Its video content offerings have not caught up to those offered by competitors Netflix and Amazon. Netflix is spending billions per year to acquire or create new content, money that it may not have in the future. A deep-pocketed partner would ensure the lead it has built does not disappear.

And both companies are well aware that the mightiest competitor they face these days is Amazon. A tie-up creates a competitor that would equal the Jeff Bezos juggernaut.

The catch? Amazon just may move to acquire Netflix before Apple has a chance to.

Sources: Bloomberg, The Hollywood Reporter

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